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Friday, December 30, 2016

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Holy Family

Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Colossians 3:12-21
Psalm 128:1-5
Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

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the family fights back

"The Lord sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority He confirms over her sons. He who honors his father atones for sins." —Sirach 3:2-3

The Christian family is being assaulted with a vehemence which is unprecedented. Promiscuity, contraception, abortion, abuses, addictions, and divorces are rampant. Bitterness, resentments, and unforgiveness poison family relationships. Fewer families are surviving.

The Lord wants this Christmas season to be the time for a counter-assault by the Christian family on the culture of death. We need parents like St. Joseph, who will obey immediately and act decisively to save their children from death (see Mt 2:13-14). The Lord is calling spouses and parents to be ministers of reconciliation (see 2 Cor 5:18) and peacemakers (see Mt 5:9), who have accepted the grace of forgiving and being forgiven. Then these spouses and families can pray together daily and share the Scriptures together daily. These are first steps toward the family becoming what the Church has traditionally called a "domestic Church" (Catechism, 1655-1657). These family churches have the freedom to be obedient and submissive (see Eph 5:18-21). In this obedience, there is unity, and in these families' unity there is power to bring down the enemies of the family, the Herods of this world, and to replace our culture of death with a civilization of love and life.

This Christmas, make Joseph-like decisions for your family's salvation.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit, the true Christmas Spirit, to show me the threats to my family.

Promise:  "Husbands, love your wives. Avoid any bitterness toward them. You children, obey your parents in everything as the acceptable way in the Lord." —Col 3:19-20

Praise:  The Holy Family models what being of "one heart and one mind" is like (Acts 4:32).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 10, 2016

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